[Haskell-cafe] Re: Who started 42, and when?

Benjamin L. Russell dekudekuplex at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 3 22:14:20 EST 2008

That depends partly on how 42 it is pronounced. 
Normally, it is pronounced "yon-juu-ni," which has no
relevance to "death."  However, it is also possible to
pronounce it "shi-ni," which also means "to die." 
Incidentally, it is the 4 part of 42 that is
pronounced "shi," which alternatively means "death,"
and I have heard that there is also no hotel room in
Japan with the number 4.  (However, there are hotel
rooms here with the number 13.)  (Also, items in
department stores are never sold (at least to my
knowledge) in sets of 4.)

In addition, the age 42 is considered a major
climacteric age for men in Japan as well (for those
who can read Japanese, see the Japanese Wikipedia
entry for "yaku-doshi" (climacteric year))
(In general, the ages of 25, 42, and 61 are considered
climacteric ages for men, and the ages of 19, 33, and
37 are considered climacteric for women, with 33 being
the major climacteric age for women.  Incidentally, 33
is pronounced "san-zan," which means "disastrous.")

Does anybody else know of any culture where the number
42 holds special meaning; if so, what special meaning?

Benjamin L. Russell

--- Martin Lüthi <answer at tnoo.net> wrote:

> [snip]
> In the Japanese culture the number 42 has a very
> special meaning. I
> realized that while discussing cultural differences
> with a Japanese.
> Pronouncing 42 sounds like "death" or "to die". No
> hotel in Japan has a
> room 42. 

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